Hurricane Elsa, the earliest forming fifth named Atlantic storm on record, may impact Florida as early as Monday or Tuesday. While there is uncertainty regarding the exact timing and severity of the storm, Florida residents need to begin preparing their insurance information and closely monitor the track of the storm, recommends the American Property Casualty Insurance Association (APCIA).
“As residents monitor Hurricane Elsa through the weekend, now is the time to gather copies of your insurance policies, save your insurer’s contact information to your phone, and make a home inventory,” said Logan McFaddin, assistant vice president of state government relations for APCIA. “These simple actions will help ensure you can file a claim quickly if your property is damaged.”
Damage associated with wind and other severe weather is typically covered under a standard homeowners, renters, or business policy. Flood damage is not typically covered under these policies but can be covered under a separate policy through the National Flood Insurance Program or the private insurance market. Water damage to a vehicle is typically covered if the policyholder’s auto policy includes comprehensive insurance coverage.
APCIA urges Florida residents to take the following actions to prepare for potential impacts from Hurricane Elsa:
- Gather copies of your insurance policies. Keep copies of your insurance policies (home, flood, and auto) in a safe, dry, and accessible location or have your policy numbers available.
- Save your insurer’s contact info. Save your insurer’s toll-free claims number to your cell phone’s contacts. APCIA has a list of insurer’s toll-free numbers here.
- Make a home or business inventory. Use your smartphone to take photos or videos of your belongings, including furniture, appliances, clothes, lawn equipment, jewelry, and art. Save your inventory to a place where you can easily retrieve it. You can also check if your insurer has an app to assist policyholders with creating a home inventory. Additionally, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners offers a free home inventory app.
- Restock your emergency supply kit. Have enough food, water, and medication for each member of your family, including your pets, for at least seven days. Remember to include face masks, hand sanitizer, and cleaning supplies.
- Physically prepare your property. Check your roof and make repairs to loose or damaged shingles, trim branches and shrubs away from the house, clear the yard of debris, secure gutters, and seal gaps and cracks around windows and doors. If you do not have hurricane shutters, measure windows, and get plywood cut ahead of time.
- Review your evacuation plans. If you live in a mandatory evacuation zone, review your evacuation plans, and make sure you have face masks and hand sanitizer for your family. Do not forget to include pets in your plan. Never leave pets behind.
Additional APCIA Resources
The American Property Casualty Insurance Association (APCIA) is the primary national trade association for home, auto, and business insurers. APCIA promotes and protects the viability of private competition for the benefit of consumers and insurers, with a legacy dating back 150 years. APCIA members represent all sizes, structures, and regions—protecting families, communities, and businesses in the U.S. and across the globe.